A small plane carrying Mexican American singer Jenni Rivera is missing and believed to have crashed in northern Mexico early Sunday.
The Associated Press reported the plane, a Learjet, left Monterrey about 3:30 a.m. after a concert by Rivera. The pilot lost contact with air traffic contollers about 10 minutes after its departure. It was scheduled to arrive in Toluca, near Mexico City, about an hour later.
An NBCUniversal spokeswoman confirmed that Rivera was aboard the plane. Seven people, including the pilots and crew, were believed to be on the plane.
The Long Beach native’s career has been soaring. The 43-year-old singer is best known for her interpretations of regional Mexican music, norteno and banda. She also is one of NBCUniversal’s brightest bilingual television stars.
Her reality show on the Telemundo cable channel, mun2, “I Love Jenni,” has been one of the channel’s highest rated shows. The program is in its second year.
ABC television network was reportedly considering casting Rivera as a star of a prime-time sitcom in development about a strong-willed single Latina mother.
The AP said that a search for the plane was launched early Sunday.
[Updated 3:37 p.m.: Mexican transportation officials have reported the wreckage of the plane believed to be carrying Rivera has been located and no one appears to have survived the crash.